Leopard sighting triggers panic in Najafgarh; alert issued

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New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) The forest department has sounded an alert after an official confirmed the presence of a leopard in Najafgarh in Southwest Delhi.

Deputy Conservator of Forest, Delhi (West) Navneet Shrivastava said a cage with a live bait has been placed in the area to catch the feline. Videos showing a leopard moving around in a residential area triggered panic on Thursday, following which forest department teams were rushed in. A senior official of the department said the leopard was first caught on CCTV camera on January 27. Later, a forest officer confirmed its presence in the area. 'It was sighted again in Ghumanhera village on January 28 and near the Najafgarh drain on January 29,' the official said.

Forest department officials are patrolling the area. They have found pugmarks but the animal has not been traced yet, he said. 'It is a shy animal. Maybe it is hiding somewhere in the area. We received a report that it was seen again in Ghumanhera village,' Shrivastava said.

Forest department staff has been making public announcements in Najafgarh and nearby areas. They have distributed pamphlets and pasted posters on walls, asking residents to remain alert.

'We have asked people not to step out alone, especially at night. Children have been asked to remain inside homes,' Shrivastava said.

'We think the animal is moving away from human habitation as we did not get any leads on it on Saturday.... It may have moved towards the Haryana border,' the forest official said. PTI GVS RC